Producer Profile: Mavuno Harvest
Mavuno Harvest was started in May 2012 by a former Peace Corps volunteer. Phil Hughes (Peace Corps Kenya, 2003-2005) had seen the good and bad side of international aid and development in East Africa, and wanted to find a new way of doing things. This was the inspiration for Mavuno Harvest.
A cooperative of 150 small-scale family farmers grow and dry the fruit in rural Uganda. At Mavuno (Swahili for harvest, or ‘first fruit’) Harvest, their vision is to take a product that East African farmers are already growing – and simply increase its value by bringing it to consumers like you, consumers who care about what they eat, and care about its origins.
As a result, they not only enable their farming partners to grow their own businesses but also help channel funds directly into the communities where those farmers live and work. Those communities then realize the opportunity to invest in their own local infrastructure and businesses as they see fit.
We seek to use the power of true market-driven economics to contribute to the development of rural underserved farming communities, by creating an international market for East African foods. The larger the market, the more farmers get paid. – from Mavuno Harvest’s Fair Trade Sourcing Policy
Mavuno is simply the conduit, connecting rural small-scale farmers to the international marketplace. By paying their farmers fair prices for their fruit, they invest not only in their futures, but in the sustainable development of their communities as a whole. They look for and assist certified organic suppliers who have met some basic requirements:
- a safe and clean working environment
- a living wage to farmers and a minimum wage to workers
- dignified housing (including potable water and access to energy)
- basic rights for worker protection
- access to medical care for workers and their families
- access to primary and secondary education
Simple, market-driven, economic development. Completely all-natural, 100% organic and delicious. Full Circle chose to carry Mavuno Harvest dried fruits because they give direct support to indigenous farmers. Products like mangos, pineapples and bananas that are grown in more temperate regions add variety to our diets, but need to be sourced with intention from socially responsible and environmentally sustainable producers.
Look for Mavuno Harvest dried fruits in Full Circle’s online grocery.